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Donald Bartlett & James Steele Education. (2012) 'The Betrayal of the American Dream.' New.

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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Donald Bartlett & James Steele  Education.   
   (2012) 'The Betrayal of the American Dream.' New.  

    September 1, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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both had on american politics in "bill and hillary." and mark owe when a pen name used by one of the member of sale team six gives a account on the raid on bin laden compound. ..
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>> host: donald bartlett and james steele are the others of this new book, "the betrayal of the american dream," and gentlemen, you are a team of investigative reporters that as honored as as in a., bob woodward my former colleague at the post, speaks highly of you. you have won two pulitzer's, national magazine award, the pulitzer for outing the irs going after the house ways & means committee in terms of tax loopholes being given to big business. u. 16 george polk awards. you are in the light of the great tradition of american or what people in the old days would call muckrakers and today we call them investigative reporters. but investigative reporting as a class seems to be in decline. there doesn't seem to be much of it any more. we went through a period when
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you go back to the early part of the 20th century. there are people like lincoln steffens and ida tarbell and upton sinclair i guess are the most famous many come forward to the 60's and now you see more of that kind of critical you know intellectual emergence in the american press. there's a market for stories that dig in and to give people like halberstam. >> guest: all the great investigative reporting teams he put together both for regional, national and international pieces. he was a real trendsetter that time toward looking at the big issues, not just the small ones and set the pace for really an awful lot of -- at the time. >> guest: it was not a widespread occupation. let's put it that way. "the new york times" basically did very little.
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you had a -- massacre. that would have been a logical place for it. a little news service and little papers around the country. >> host: . [inaudible] >> guest: no, that was -- seymour hersh but he was at the times wasn't he? >> guest: no. later he was. >> guest: the times was very late in coming to investigative reporting. >> host: why is it that we have so little investigative reporting today? is it because of the economic problems that are resetting the nation's newspapers? >> guest: a lot of it is economics because new steps everywhere have and dramatically reduced. it's also as don was suggesting you don't always find many
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newspaper editors of any era in embracing investigative reporting. that is the point we have seen over the years. it's not just economics. is the discomfort investigative reporting often causes in a newsroom because it's troublesome. it's that more than economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers, the stories are legion over the years. we were fortunate in his 70's and almost all of our careers to work for people who were really strong and upright in that area and just let the chips fall where they may, where the work lead you. >> host: you were very fortunate any of them a lot. obviously have been greatly honored by your peers in the craft of journalism and in this book, you are back to attacking the rich, and i want to say that the heart and soul of this book is that it's your premise that tens of millions of middle-class americans and working poor people have lost out and that
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for them the american dream is over right now, today. and you argue that the reason for this is that there is too much power and influence in the hands of a very rich in american society. and when i'm looking at this i'm thinking to myself people are going to say, well these guys are basically anti-romney class war for advocates for the democrats and you are beating up on the rich when in fact they would argue the rich are people who create and you think that to what bill clinton and cory booker and senator schumer said after there was criticism of the folks on wall street. they said these are good folks. they make contributions. they have done so much in our communities. donalds donald r. u. in fact a class warrior? >> guest: you know, i'm not sure where this comes from.
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this country was founded on class warfare. that is why people came here. they didn't want the british system. what we have is a british system now. >> host: say that? >> guest: few people at the top control it. >> guest: a financial air stock they. >> host: you call it in the talk was he in this book. >> guest: we actually were just quoting a memo that a wall street investment banker used to describe what the united states has become. he used the word bhutan me. he said the u.s. is now a bhutan me. >> host: a combination of bhutan me and -- >> guest: it's a less excitable work -- word that there are few bhutan amaze amaze around the world characterized by a tremendous concentration of wealth at the top and a wealth that is greater than the bottom 90% of that is what he used.
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he said that in who is going to buy products and that is who is going to drive the economy, the middle-class is not as important as it once was. >> host: using the book for people who make less than $200,000, they don't count. >> guest: in the eyes of the hedge fund people, these are headphone -- hedge fund people talking. and you can understand where they're coming from. the middle class in china dwarfs the middle class now. the middle class in india, brazil, you name it. and it is why they say the u.s. is irrelevant. >> guest: there are is looking for growth. that is the heart of the whole financial aristocracy. they want growth in stocks and they want the companies that have the multinational connections and operations and revenue streams. that is where they want growth and that is why they see the middle-class in china and india in particular is representing that growth. that is the whole hearted that
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were in the u.s. we are stable now and the folks at the bottom don't have the money to buy like they once did. >> host: you know when president obama says something up this type publicly, he is castigated and he he is said to be attacking people who create wealth in america. it said, when he said you didn't build it that the largest society contributed the legal structure and the bridges on the roads, he is demeaning small small-business owners in america. do you agree or disagree? >> guest: absolutely now. he is absolutely right. it could have been phrased more eloquently perhaps. he is absolutely right. gemini are saying we did all of this ourselves. we didn't do it all ourselves. we had all kinds of help and the idea that one person or two people do everything, the best example is steve jobs and apple. apple derived enormous benefits from the advanced research
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projects agency that really started the internet. it wasn't al gore. it really was artba. but does he ever pay tribute to that? absolutely not. all these perceptions that one or two people did everything and the president was absolutely right. i don't think he phrased it right, but everybody has a lot of help. >> guest: we have assisted sick in the book that goes to the heart of your question. in the mid-fifties mid-fifties the very richest americans and that his contract by the irs for decades, in the mid-fifties they paid 51% of their income in federal taxes. by 2007 in the eve of the meltdown, they are paying 16%. this didn't just happen overnight. this wasn't a hurricane that just blew through through and lowered everybody's tax rates. this was public policy over
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several years and has contributed to the imbalance and it's also why so many people at the bottom don't have the money they once had. >> host: you write in the book that two-thirds of the nation total income between 2002 and 2007 went to the top 20% and you know, this is an incredible reality that then you ask the question, i think rhetorically, people wonder where did the jobs go? why is there so much money going to the very rich and the answer comes back to in your mind, these hedge funds, these very rich folks who have been enriching themselves. but you say failing the american middle class and failing the american worker. now what is interesting to me is you go after people who most would not be u.s. conservatives, people like come friedman from "the new york times" he says global trade is a good thing. you say global trade is not a good thing.
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why is global trade a bad thing? i know adam smith is up out there and have been frowning on you right now tell us, why why defend global trade is a bad thing? >> guest: adam smith is probably not frowning as much as somebody like tom friedman. if you really read adam smith, which we have. we get e-mails from time to time. if you have read the wealth of nations you would understand the relevance. he thought everything would be kept in check by competition. he had no way of envisioning the kinds of multinational corporations we have now. but we say free trade, political trade is fine. it's excellent and it's a wonderful idea but we say the way we have practiced it in this country is what is off kilter. the problem is we have opened our doors but other countries have not opened their doors and the suspension of many of our main trading partners both in
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europe and in asia and particularly japan and then you have the new player on the block, china was not only is not opening its doors to certain american products but subsidizes provides all sorts of incentives for their companies, government founded companies in many areas that make it impossible to compete with those companies on a normal economic plane. >> host: let's say oh the problem is japan, china, sees other countries but in reading the book, what comes across is its u.s. politicians the very rich in this country and the people who run the multinationals and who run the hedge funds who have said don't put in place any kind of retentions for the american middle class and allow these other countries to compete unfairly. so why are our politicians doing that? why are there seeking to decimate our own middle-class?
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and why would the middle-class cooperate? >> guest: that is the 64,000-dollar question. >> guest: we have come to the conclusion that a lot of it is simply propaganda. if you take free trade there's almost a propaganda about free trade. the men and kind of barriers is suggested, any kind of get tough measures everybody says oh my -- you cannot throw up walls. we make the point in the book, this is not an either/or situation. we need to in some cases and force a much tougher trade policy to send a message but right now we never do and as a result all of our trading partners realize they can do what they want and are multinational corporations can send their products offshore, build them there, bring them back in without duty. there is absolutely no penalty but you're absolutely right to get us back to the politicians. gets back to public policy and that is what we haven't had the nerve to put in place. >> guest: you now, there is a zillion out there we will reward
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you if you do that and we will reward you if you do that. there is no stick. absolutely no stick whatsoever in terms of trade. so that happens and there is kind of a fear put into corporations that if you do this you're you are going to pay a penalty. is the classic example. there are 2 trillion sitting offshore, you know profits made off sure. >> guest: american corporations. >> guest: american corporations. if they brought it back it would be tax. the argument of big businesses we made that money offshore. not true. some of that was in some of it wasn't. some of it was made here and shipped offshore but the point is that money should be tax. if for no other reason they have already got the write offs on their tax returns for the way that money was spent and the money generated as profits was spent so if you are going to
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profit from it he really should be paying taxes on it. but there is nothing that says if you don't bring that money back here is what is going to happen to you. and that is what is missing here. there is no penalty. and this is not -- you can very easily say you know, they have it sitting there and they have offered to pay for 5%. can you imagine going into the irs and saying, here's what i'm going to pay you this year and just give me a pass on this. i will give you 5%. ain't going to happen. but the multinational corporations, it happens every day. and it is just as dishonest as it gets, period. >> guest: the point he is making is a true in this case. talking about no stick. back in 2003 congress succumb to this idea that we have this money sitting offshore. let us bring it back and we will pay a token tax here in the whole purpose of it was
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supposedly to create jobs. later reports have disclosed that the companies they brought back the most money cut jobs and did not actually create jobs and that gets to the point that yes even than the things are put in place there is no follow up to enforce some way or another levees or penalty on somebody who is not -- >> host: to bring them back to a human level and to politics because we are in the midst of a political campaign. you talk about how the rich view money in taxes and a dollar bill differently then working middle-class americans and for them there are capital gains are made pay a lesser tax and capital gains. they pay a lesser tax rate on dividends on unearned income and then they pay a lesser tax rate on something called carried interest or the hedge fund. and you point out that romney who has said recently he paid only 13% --
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and you said that by the way, i use the word only as a modifier but he said hey i paid 13%. it's unfair for people to say i didn't pay taxes. i was struck to the idea that 13% is a lot less than i pay in taxes that you are making the point that for most americans who don't have you no mitt romney's income is $42 million i believe -- that this is unfair but again the power of the rich who control the politicians and then also who control the think-tanks who all tell us that we are engaged in class warfare for being critical of this. >> guest: . >> host: i don't mean to interrupt that i remember covering the republican primaries and the point was made repeatedly that i believe close to half of all the taxes paid in this country are paid by the so-called 1% and these people that are paying the taxes and
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the rest of the country is not paying and a huge percentage of the country pays no taxes but you don't talk about that. >> guest: the reason they pay the taxes is the same reason that willie sutton brought -- robbed banks. >> host: what do you mean? >> guest: the rich have all the money. >> host: so they should pay taxes? >> guest: they have always paid more taxes. there are more creative, harder working and more virtuous in terms of being willing to put themselves on the line and accept this in order to achieve their dreams. >> guest: some may well fall into that category and we we are not disputing that. the world is filled with all kinds of people who have made a lot of money. the problem we are saying is this is not the way it used to be in this country where the rich did used to pay more than they do now and the average person has no idea in many cases how much those tax rates have dropped for those --
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and the dividend income is a perfect example. most of its history the tax on dividend was at least what it was if you were a biochemist or a salesman or a tool and dye maker who made a good living, whatever it was. dividends were taxed at that rate. 2003 comes in, that rate is/j-15%. that was the first time ever. this was a monumental tax break to the very very rich because when you look attacks returns and you look at irs data the number of people who get dividends significantly is at the top, the one or 2% of population. does everyone get a few dividends and does everyone have to get a 15% tax? yes but who really benefits? a tiny number of. that has never happened before. it had already's been the same as your and income. it was put through part of the bush tax cuts in 2003 and earlier one's --
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>> host: i didn't mean the process so much as why would politicians who should be representing the middle-class -- >> guest: they don't. let's get that straight. they do not represent the middle-class. the middle-class does not give them their campaign contributions. that is not where the money comes from. they are the holden to the people given the money and that is why they line up behind the hedge fund. >> host: if you talk to people involved with -- if you talk to people who are working class white americans, they line up with these folks and say do you know what? we believe in american virtue and hard work and sacrifice and risk-taking and the small businessman and why are these people out there hammering on them? >> guest: one of the great myths of the people when tax rates were so high people didn't work. this is one of the great
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injuring myths of the whole theory. go back to the 1950's when tax rates on people's earnings, the last of their earnings attacks rate was 92%. nobody paid 92% but they're effective rate was substantially higher than it is now. were the 1950's a time where people didn't work and they were successful but you didn't want to -- complete malarkey. people worked as hard as ever did and the country economically this very strong at that time but if you want to pay taxes and if you don't like taxes and maybe you are going were going to be in that racket one of those days you will advocate that course. that is not the way it used to be. all we are saying is the very wealthy can afford to pay more and actually many of the wealthy folks acknowledge that. the bulk of them have put through these programs that have cut taxes. >> host: dotten i'm really curious then why do you think the tea party folks, why do you think especially older white republican americans think what
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i identify with the goal of what you called the plutocrat? >> guest: that is a really good question. i would like to see a series of rain scans to see if we can see beyond what's going on here. i don't know. it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. first of all, we have had the system now for the last couple of years. it hasn't created any new jobs at all. it has eliminated new jobs. >> host: but they blame president obama for that and they say his stimulus spending and by the way at the end of your book you advice that one of the solutions for this is increased government spending on infrastructure and the like. it's again right out of the obama playbook but that is what upsets so many working-class and middle-class people that you say you are speaking for. >> guest: we think they have been deluded on this issue of the deficit. we make this point very clear.
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this is not the time to be worried about the federal deficit. is the federal deficit a problem? it is. we don't dispute that and we need to look at that but right now we need to spend money. the deficit, where were they in 1942 f. your pearl harbor? a general comes in and says i need 100,000 tanks, what would they say? they will give them 10,000. we will give you 150. that's the mentality right now and that is what we are saying. we need spending not just short-term stimulus plan. we need a long-term investment in infrastructure, not just highways and pipelines and electric lines. tech knowledge and a whole range of things. we need to look to create those good-paying jobs and the deficit mindset nobody wants to spend a dime. >> host: okay, again what i'm telling you is there are people, especially older americans, tea party types who are saying do
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you know what, i don't agree. i think we should think urging initiative. in fact when president obama said that he wanted to spend more in terms of education and health care and the like, the people say he was the entitlement president, the welfare president. you understand what i'm saying. >> guest: foodstamp residents are a favorite because food stamps have gone way up but for the first time ever majority of the recipients, the highest number of recipients are employed. they have so little money that they cannot get by. >> host: is interesting because you are given the book that the growth, there is growth in occupations for the middle-class in this country, are basically serve as occupations for things like retail clerks, customer service, childcare, guards, security guards. >> guest: jobs that don't pay anything. >> host: low-paying jobs. but somehow you get this
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political support. >> guest: we think in part, a lot of it is propaganda. a lot of it are the think-tanks that have continually railed against deficit spending. a lot of it is part of the media and here we are, this is our business. we shouldn't be the hand that a lot of the media has succumbed to a lot of these arguments and portrayed a lot of these things as two sides of the coin. but the fact of the matter is a lot of people and a lot of middle-class people who have bought into these arguments, this is not in their best interest. until they see that, things won't change but the country is very divided on these issues. a lot of them are not voting for -- but many are and you see increasingly the number of people who realize that we are not creating good jobs in this country. >> host: reminds me of the book what's the matter with -- but also, you are critical of the political plan but you also critical of the prosecutors.
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for example when you look back at the collapse of the american economy back in 07 and 08, you point out none of these wall street people went to jail. now here you are as investigative reporters. why don't you point out where it is that these men or women the long? >> guest: well, there's a two-part thing here. if you look and you seriously look and you can't bind any broken laws which i very seriously doubt, we haven't had a real prosecutor sense morgenthau. he was the last really serious prosecutor. but you know, let's accept that argument that they didn't break any laws. the very next thing should be a whole legion of congressmen upon the hill and seducing legislation to make the conduct they engaged in criminal.
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it about vioxx to take. >> host: isn't that dodd-frank? >> guest: a in a little bit, a little bit but what are the other things that -- we have written so much about taxes over the years. we long ago recommended to scrap -- stop criminalizing tax fraud. make it a draconian civil penalty. you don't pay your taxes and you want to ship your money overseas, fine. we will give you a median family income, and then you start all over. and that would be far more effective than putting someone in prison for six or seven months and then they come out and all the money is still there. >> guest: that makes no sense whatsoever. >> host: the republicans are even critical of dodd-frank and say that we should unshackle wall street and you are in fact creating uncertainty and pressures on this -- especially big business and they don't like
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it. >> guest: had they talked to sandy weill lately in terms of just that issue? i'm joking but the fact is that guy who led very much to eliminate glass-steagall, to a lemonade -- >> host: citibank. >> guest: to eliminate the firewall between wall street and thanks. now they are saying that was a terrible mistake and the whole argument that there are too many regulations and that is commonly what you see among some of the little ones, absolutely no basis for. it wasn't regulations that led to the collapse. at it was the fact that there was very little oversight. there was a whole mindset that the deregulation mindset in the financial services have created in part the whole mortgage catastrophe. one of the things we saw in the writing the book at the veteran center in southwest florida, and everybody knows a lot of the current veterans what they have come back to.
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what is interesting about this center is how many veterans went back in the korean war, the vietnam and the gulf war 15 or 20 years ago. a lot of these people were on the verge of losing their house. one of the great myths was that we had a social policy that was putting people into houses should not have been in houses. yes i'm sure there was some of that but here were a bunch of guys who have owned their houses for years and many of them have been trekked at these exotic mortgages that mortgage companies would then sell it for what they could make off of it. you almost have to mortgage your firstborn child to get a mortgage. but in the last 10 years it is totally flipped because they're so much money to be made and to bundle those things. without regulation, there was no regular shuttle. >> guest: wall street kept grabbing more and more of the bundled mortgages because they had -- >> host: are you saying that it doesn't work for the american
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middle class anymore? it's not the way it's been played out now, because what kinds of jobs to is this great american market creating and just as you mentioned a few minutes ago, many jobs created are not high-paying jobs and many of them do not have benefits. we make the point in the book that the unemployment rate is terrible but equally bad are the many people who are working more now burning two-thirds of what they earned three or four years ago, half of what they are. >> host: you are saying the people that are responsible for this are the politicians but also the people who pay the politicians and that is the 1%. the 1%. now if this is the case, that 1%, why is it that again we come back to this issue that some people say well, but they are the dynamic force in our economy.
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we don't want to punish them for what they are doing. you talk about mitt romney and you say it's not just mitt romney. there there are a whole class of mitt romney's out there who do this and who move to move jobs overseas when necessary. some of the most i think emotionally powerful examples you offer, for example one is about a rubbermaid company company and another about the company that makes grips like a vise with a lock on it. if you tell the stories to the viewers on c-span that would be great. >> guest: the vise grips, almost all of us who have apartments, houses, condos whatever, almost everyone has one of these advice scripts, the locking pliers, a magical intention. a danish immigrant in a town in nebraska and is typical of the american ingenuity and innovation and so forth came up with decided that you can lock things in place and that would leave your other hand free.
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a little town in the middle of nebraska, decade after decade we find new products. it provided solid, good jobs for people in the community. they could send their kids to college if they wanted to go to college. these were not super high-paying jobs but they were solid jobs and good jobs, the heart of american ingenuity. eventually multinational corporation comes along and buys the company and systematically shuts it down, ships the work to china. what is interesting about this, the chinese factory after it went over there was not efficient and in fact it was apparently so poorly run that the folks that have been laid off back in nebraska pay them to go over and try to study the situation to impose some efficiencies of the chinese workforce. >> host: but the company in nebraska, wiped out? >> guest: wiped out. it provided works for generations of people added
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actually employed more people than the town itself had population but a white surrounding area. that was typical of this country. you can find by script stories all over. >> host: this was done by the hedge fund types, the romney type folks? >> guest: it was done by the folks who decide do we could make more money if we work offshore. >> host: and they got no penalty from the politicians. >> guest: they were able to basically bring that product back, essentially duty-free and the fact that the chinese government had gone out of their way to establish these industrial parks to provide the land. in some cases they actually rounded up the workforce for a lot of these banks. >> host: what happened with rubbermaid? >> guest: well, very similar. i think everybody probably has a rubbermaid product, more than one or at lease one or two in the refrigerator, the containers. the dust pans, you name it.
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rubbermaid in western ohio, rubbermaid was synonymous with western ohio, small-town america just like the nebraska story of the vise grips. provided employment for decades. and they did the exact same thing. >> guest: we made the point that rubbermaid becomes typical of how what is happening to the middle class in this country. think of the civil war. if there had not been a battle of gettysburg or battle of antietam, there had not in those gigantic complex but a bunch of skirmishes that ultimate had as much carnage, that is ultimately what is happen to the middle-class. june 1970 and 5 we make the point that the u.s. was at the height of its employment in manufacturing in total numbers of people. no one paid attention because the number had aris gotten up at the next month the numbers went down and continue to continued to go down there after.
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it was 19 or 20 million back then and now we are 10 to a million with a dramatic drop off during that point. all of it because of the policies we have been talking about. >> host: we talk about vise grips and rubbermaid but an example of modern american ingenuity initiative, innovation at a very successful level would be apple. >> guest: absolutely. >> host: you in the book say again that the trail of the american middle class, a betrayal of the american dream. look at what happened to this american company that is so successful. they have gone overseas for their manufacturing. >> guest: they don't make the same things. one of the great examples we refer to is when jobs died -- >> host: steve jobs who was the man who created apple. >> guest: there were all these illusions. he was in a class of the early day thomas edison's two -- there was one huge difference.
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edison invented manufacturing and cap the manufacturing era. the lightbulb was manufactured here up until just a few years ago. now it is not. >> guest: apple was here less than a generation in terms of manufacturing that was it departure for the way things have been for a long time this country. a creator but jobs comes up with this idea and designers how perfect it and you make it here in salesman sell it. people buy it. there's a whole chain of events there at in the case of apple all the manufacturing that is basically eliminated in this country less than a generation. we are not saying in the book that you shouldn't build a plant somewhere else. that's not the point but the fact that none were built is what is so different. is it a surprise that apple is such a rich company? beyer figure out ways to make even more money but who is paid the price to mystically because of that? we say is the middle-class.
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>> guest: another example where we talked about earlier, whoever the company is, if they want to move their production overseas, fine but there has got to be a penalty so that at least the playing field stays level for working people, the middle-class people. the playing field is totally out of whack now. >> host: in fact you say that people like tom friedman makes the argument that we just need more education to keep up with global competition. when each do a better job of the new counter by saying education won't help. highly educated young people are being paid less and leaving school with higher debt loads. >> guest: we have a story in the book, sad story but up computer programmer who had the education, excellent grades. flo in southern california that got high marks.
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he had education but under the new rules, that let all of these things come back, let's folks come in and lower salaries to be trained for these jobs, we make the point in the book that education alone is not the answer. we are not against education but we are saying unless it's accompanied by a more realistic trade policy of better economic policy that alone is not going to be the answer. >> host: because there is a shortage of jobs in you believe that a shortage of jobs is caused by policies put in place by politicians that favor the very rich, these multinationals and hedge funds that are taking their money overseas, there had are building overseas and without a care about what's happening here at home to the middle-class. you point out that in germany and japan and india, those governments subsidize and help to grow industries and protect jobs. the united states does not. alright now in the book you also
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pick up another really, you know big target of the left, the koch brothers and you've beat them about the head too. for supporting policies that are in their self-interest in making themselves extremely rich. you say they not only control politicians but also even economic think-tanks at george mason university. i believe you saved the cato institute and that they basically been put out a lot of, i don't know if you would call it misinformation and if i'm wrong tell me -- >> guest: that is exactly right. >> host: putting out this information in order to convince the american middle class to act against their best interest. >> guest: you see that over and over and over. that is what happens. >> host: what do you mean? >> guest: you say how wonderful these policies are. is repeated.
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>> host: low trade and low taxes on the rich and allowing them to keep their profits overseas. >> guest: you hear it over and over, pretty soon people believe the. >> guest: one of the foundations for their nonprofit on the eve of the 2000 congressional elections, they began running ads from a woman who is in canada who said she had a rain tumor and you don't want the health care system in america because boy if i had gone to the united states i would be dead today with my rain tumor. subsequently the newspaper accounts disclosed that she did go to the u.s. and she had the procedure but the doctors involved said this was a non-life-threatening situations. that is the way the canadian system works. if it's not life-threatening you will not be waited on as rapidly as maybe you want but the point is, by the time that information got out, the elections are held and people are looking that thinking oh gosh obamacare would
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be horrible because we have this system or we would not get treated, totally misleading. >> host: are you saying the koch brothers are critical players in terms of using all of their think-tanks and political politicians that they support to oppose any increase in the minimum wage which you say has not kept things in place and again the middle-class, more difficult to file for bankruptcy and you say that's particularly damaging to women and then you also say like the koch brothers who are going to be in the forefront of the austerity drive. you say it begins in 2013 and does cut into medicare and social security, the paul ryan type approach. >> guest: exactly. >> host: so you see this as part of the grand conspiracy? >> guest: it's certainly a grand plan because the thing we see in most of this, many of the very wealthy and not all by the
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way. what we see is they do not like to pay taxes, which means they do not want any government program of any sort. the less government you have it means that fewer taxes you have and it's basically a simple approach. just let the market work and everybody can go back to business and so forth. what we are worried about is how influential lobbyists and advertisers -- the koch's have announced in the swing states that they will pump in millions and millions of dollars in pennsylvania for example the issue is going to be betraying -- portraying obama as a disaster in terms of the deficit. now you may not like obama and you may not like his programs and you may have a different way of looking at the way the country should be run but obama and the creators of the deficit? he inherited a decade with the
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economy down and lower tax collection. he has contributed very little to the deficit in terms of those structure problems and the little he has tried to do such as a stimulus has been condemned. you may not like him, but the idea that he created the deficit is just bogus. >> host: you know the politicians though find that in fact there is money coming from the hedge funds. there is money coming from the coke or others and a big investors. and they feel, well that is the pressure. that is the way the game is being played these days and you look right now at the fundraising and romney is out raising obama and a lot of the wall street types in the business types say you know, president obama has made us uncomfortable. that is what is being done, the
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american dream. if you are a member of the 1%, you would feel attacked by this. >> guest: i think those that do not want to pay more taxes would feel that way and those who do not like government involved in any aspect of the economy come they would definitely feel uncomfortable. but i think what we are saying is you know you're not advocating anything especially anything radical in this book. we are just saying just turn things back a little bit the way they used to be. not even all the way, just go back a little bit and create the kind of balance at least to have in this economy for everybody can prosper and get ahead. >> host: i have to tell you one of the things that struck me so deeply wish you talked about the end of pension and again, you know it's one of these things where people talk about where did the jobs go? mike -- nobody has a pension any more. they have all gone into these 401(k) programs and the 401(k) programs really don't have the
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profits in the earnings to sustain people in the way that a pension did in the past. the question is, how do you do away with pensions and what you write in "the betrayal of the american dream" is the politicians gave permission for a company to get out of its pension obligations. what happened? ..
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>> if there will never be of a stick. make no mistake the end result is more of the same. >> this is a good point*. it goes into the heart of the book. politicians don't care about this job. is the american steel industry what it was 30
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years ago? >> no. >> party because the policy. a group put together a consortium but was there any interest? the original bridge was built but this time if there was the desire to do so. some of no concern of the ramifications. >> host: talk about occupy wall street. i don't mind you be rich but by my government. is that the idea? >> they by the government
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and public opinion. said is a huge part. now and the advertising. it is very misleading. this is bad. this is good. >> host: they have been be the gold anarchist anarchist, communist, social ist. >> it has hit a chord. who doesn't know somebody who went to college and could not get a job and lives at home? who knows a retired person living off of 401(k)? >> host: people are upset who don't blame the rich but government spends too much money, taxes to much and has
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not unleash the power of free enterprise. >> that is not the problem. it creates jobs. it has wonderful things. nobody disputes that. it is not held back because of regulation. although investment is going abroad to other countries. but more of that should be here that is why the government does need to invest more. this is a crisis. the greatest peacetime public-works occurred under eisenhower with bipartisan support. >> host: and high tax rates. the end of the book he make this suggestion we revise the tax code.
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we should impose some protection for american workers with china and japan. and a stimulus plan. could you get elected dogcatcher? [laughter] >> probably not. >> most polls indicate that the wealthy should pay more. but who controls the government? trade is more complicated but they feel the government is not taking a forceful role. >> we talked about framing
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the debate. now it is all over the deficit. austerity. austerity. austerity. nobody talks about the trade deficit. one year after another. that is what cost jobs. crackdown on that tomorrow. with those analogies third 1980 to put this in a hot check, 110 pounds, today she would way to hunt --
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hunt -- 2700 pounds with the trade deficit. that should be the visual image of the damage that has been done to rollout other and it -- nations to dictate to us. >> host: unbelievable. this is why people are unsure about the country. if you ask people face day it is on the wrong track but there is a political divide three with the plutocrats the republic 10 democrat liberal conservative is that the wrong for a work? >> we think it is. you always have to parties and division but we were
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able in earlier times to come together when things were rough. right now with the minority population is the wrong way to go. i will never forget being at the veteran center one guy was sitting a public congressmen debate the issue the vane on his neck began to pop out. he said there are doing about what is not the problem. what about when they start to lose their houses?
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because of the chicanery out of wall street. it is not more regulation enough to solve that. >> bay are a socially conservative but to see this up front and personal. >> host: who should do it? >> we think the government does need to stimulate to change the tax cut to be cognizant these are white-collar. the jobs are a
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macy -- amazing. biochemist series of high-paying occupations that are in danger of going offshore. nobody is talking about it. what can be done. educated people. >> host: the conclusion is there will be fewer points of entry. and molar concentration of wealth at the top. this is a different america up. you see them extremely divided by many. you says cool trade is good for hedge funds but bad for
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america. when we beat up the corporation they are being hammered with an end of the benefits and they pay up price. >> why do they think they have interest from the wall street of the world? it comes from the plutocrat and the think-tank it is a war on small business speed mayfair framing that debate. >> is incorrect? >> absolutely. the medium-sized corporations are hammered with taxes. >> host: you say the owners don't realize their own best interest? >> some of them do.
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with the debate bringing the money back off shore with a 2 trillion allot of small businesses say don't do this why should they get to a much higher rate? others have been influenced we need more of entrepreneurs to encourage innovation. the biggest problem not from these good paying jobs and with that line of thinking. there is a role of public policy.
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>> they suddenly materialize overnight. there is a role for that. not to suffocate but work with it for a more prosperous society. >> you say we have not had that concentration of wealth since the 19th century. to people think you are demonizing the rich, mitt romney and good tool of president obama? >> [laughter] we just believe it should be level spec we have been writing about taxes for many years.
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those are the good old old-- somebody may look at the tax plan we have been writing about these things you see the fingerprints of both parties. democrats have bought and to the idea. without restrictions or oversight the popular perception but many democrats ordered them. >> host: deregulation of trucking com

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